Monthly Archives: February 2014

Streamlining Life – All-In-One Organization Super Binder

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Today’s project started with a bit of inspiration from Clean Mama’s Start Here. series (who has infinitely cuter printables than the quick pages I made). In a desperate need for a more streamlined daily organization system, I grabbed a big three-ring binder, a pack of dividers, and a ridiculous amount of sheet protectors (for a whopping $7 total). Armed with Pinterest, PrintMaster, and an extra hour, I got to work.

 

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My Super Binder sections were Calendars, Coupons, Finances, Home, Garden, Kids, Projects, and Blog. My handwriting is atrocious. 

I started with narrowing down and then prioritizing (based on daily use) which sections I would actually use. Store-bought daily planners usually have all sorts of junk like phone book and unwieldy note sections that I never use. Instead, I opted for something I would find far more versatile and give me the monthly calendar view I prefer. 

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I placed a 1/3 page notes section at the top of my monthly calendar, and set up the calendar in a sheet protector so each month would open to the left of the binder. To the right of each month I put a handful of regular ruled notebook paper for extra jotting space.

I really like having unlimited note space for each month without having to crowd my actual monthly calendar, or fool with a monthly AND weekly calendar. 

For the coupon section, I simply threw in three full-page sheet protectors to start with, and separated my coupons into sheets that worked for me. To the casual couponer, this could mean “Regular use items”, “Unusual purchases” and “One time use”, while the more advanced probably already have their own binder system that can be transferred. 

Finances is where I really started getting into quick-glance vs. detail.

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Obviously, go with headers that work best for your situation. One big thing I didn’t include (as it doesn’t apply to us right now) is a mortgage section.

This I set up as a spreadsheet, with our checking and savings balances next to an estimate on our remaining car, medical, college, and “miscellaneous” debt. If you have separate savings accounts for college funds or anything else, you may want to list them individually to keep a closer eye on the monthly or weekly deposits. Set up rows that work for you: if you make monthly payments/deposits, use monthly rows. We pay different things weekly, so a weekly row system works better for us.

My “Home” and “Garden” sections included cover pages with weekly and monthly tasks, with more ruled paper for extra things that may need attention. Any big projects went on notebook paper in the “Projects” section to be tackled individually. “Kids” just had ruled paper for quick notes: crafts I want to try, appointments, milestones, and miscellaneous “WE NEED MORE SOCKS” jotting. 

So, what can you do to get more organized in an hour?
Tell me! Let’s make this a streamlined year!

Gears Are Turning

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Alright, loves, absence makes the heart grow fonder. I’m booting up again, after almost an entire year without internet! How did I survive?? Anyhow, I have lots of new projects to work on and share, including recipes I’ve picked up, DIY projects I’ve been playing with, some cold-weather sewing, and preparation for our big homesteading gardens! 

This past year has been, as I predicted, a grand bundle of wonderful, and a healthy portion of crazy. I made the transition from working mom to stay-at-home, thanks to Anthony’s unpredictable work hours in the prestigious field of Mortuary Sciences. He’s really settled into this new job with ease, and it’s gotten to where I can’t imagine him doing anything else. 

It’s been both delightful and mind-boggling to watch Zoey and Tristan establish their own personalities and behaviors. Zoey is very creative and loves learning about doctors and bodies, the stars and weather, and can’t get enough coloring. Tristan can’t get enough of food, music, and engineering complex structures to get into things he should not be getting into. He also has a crush on Nani from Lilo and Stitch, who just happens to be one of my favorite cartoon characters of all time. 

Being at home has been a great experience for me, and has given me the time to learn new things and delve deeper into activities that I enjoy but didn’t have the hours for before. I am so very excited to share this journey with you in the coming months. Until then, peace, love, and Pinterest!